Can You Recycle Jeans? (And Ways To Reuse Old Jeans)

If there is a clothing item we can all agree most people love, it is Jeans. The reason for this is honestly not far-fetched, considering the fact that it is cheap, quite comfortable and easy to get. Over the years and through various upgrades, one thing is constant and that is the fact that Jeans are not going out of style, at least not in any time soon, no matter how much we deny it.

However, you should also know that your Jeans certainly cannot last forever. Probably as a result of getting faded or undersized or just generally outliving the function for which it was bought. Whatever the reason might be, you most likely have never given an afterthought to your old Jeans and what happens to them when you don’t want them anymore.

That, however, is about to change with recycling being such a popular occurrence nowadays. You are most likely wondering if this fascinating process is also applicable to jeans and if yes, how? Perhaps, some of the questions that might be going through your mind include the following; Are Jeans recyclable? How do you properly dispose of them? Are Jeans environmentally friendly? What other ways can your jeans be useful?

We know how mind-boggling these questions can be, which is why we have taken the time to answer all of these questions. As well as other similarly connected questions. If you are eager to learn from this post, we ask you to pay nothing but attention to the details in the succeeding paragraphs. If you are ready, let’s dive in.

Are Jeans Recyclable?

Now to our million-dollar question, ‘are Jeans recyclable’ It’s quite straightforward really. The answer is Yes, Jeans are capable of being recycled. The reason for this is because they are made mostly from cotton which is a sustainable fiber and can be broken down totally to its natural form and recycled.

As easy as this sounds, this, however, is not everything you need to know. You should know that the recycling of Jeans might be hindered by factors like; metal buttons, zippers, thick seams, rivets, etc. Despite this, they can still go through the recycling process. Why this is so is because many recycling stations spend some time remove ng the buttons, metal and zips of the jeans. This will make them easily recyclable.

So, if you have some pairs of Jeans that you no longer wear and you’d like to free up some closet space, then you simply can give them up to be recycled. There are various recycling organizations or programs that not only accept Jeans for recycling but also pay you for bringing in your old jeans.

So in case, you have been wondering about the possibility of recycling your jeans, there you have an answer.

Can You Put Jeans In The Recycle Bin?

On this, there are a lot of things you can do with your jeans, such as donate it to charity, turn it into arts and crafts, recycling, etc.

However, of all things to do with your Jeans, the worst thing you can do is probably to put them in a curbside recycling bin. Frankly speaking, why would you even attempt it?

You are going to be doing yourself a disservice if you do this because the clothing once put in a recycle bin will end up clogging the machinery used at the recycling plant. Usually, there is always a short time for the recycling station to separate the materials in the recycling bin. So, it might be possible for your jeans to end up blogging the recycling machine because you dropped them in the recycling bin.

In essence, you can definitely find viable ways to dispose of your jeans when you’re done with them Sadly when it comes to putting your Jeans in the recycle bin, It’s a big No. You can package them in a big paper or plastic bag, seal the bag, label it as jeans product and send the sealed package for recycling.

Are Jeans Eco-friendly?

Without much emphasis, the answer is no. Jeans are in no way eco-friendly. They possess more harm to the environment than good. Here is why;

The production of jeans is highly hazardous. Its manufacturing entails chemical residues, heavy metals, strong bleach, chemical agents and so many hazardous substances that not only pose a threat to the environment but also endanger the lives of people by causing problems such as respiratory illness, loss of hearing, skin cancer as well as brain damage.

So before you become a staunch advocate for Jeans, you might want to consider all of these consequences for a while before making a decision.

Are Jeans Bad For The Environment?

Here is a question many have asked to get answers for years now. But for some unknown reason, the answer has not been readily available. However, in this segment, you get to have more insights and answers to this question and know for a fact whether or not Jean’s are bad for the environment.

For starters, plastics and cars are the most commonly known pollutants. However, clothing items like jeans are starting to have an impact on the environment as well. Jeans are made from cotton.

Cotton crops are generally thirsty, in the sense that they require lots of water as well as lots of chemicals to properly grow. These chemicals pose a lot of harm to the health of farmers and residents. So, you see, even before the Jeans are manufactured, the by-product is already a threat to the environment.

Asides from this, the production of Jeans requires a large number of chemicals such as mercury lead and copper. This coupled with the dying and bleaching process contributes to water pollution in the environment.

Also, Jeans have a climatic impact on the environment in that once they are washed, their drying process has an environmental impact because to dry demands at least 5 times more energy than it would necessarily take to boil water.

These reasons and so many others are why we arrive at the conclusion that jeans may be bad for the environment.

Are Jeans Sustainable?

In the event that you are quite economical with resources around you, or you are passionate about environmental sustainability, you’d be interested in this. For the sustainability of jeans, we get to help you assess whether or not they are indeed sustainable.

On the surface, it appears as though Jeans are sustainable. Surprisingly, they are not. As a matter of fact, Jeans happen to be one of the most impossible clothing to render sustainable.

The reason is not far-fetched. Jeans are almost impossible to produce without making a mess. It takes up a lot of water, energy as well as a chemical to produce.  As it stands, Jeans might easily be one of the least eco-friendly clothing materials of all time.

As of now, Jeans are nowhere near being sustainable. But can they truly become sustainable clothing items in the nearest future? To be honest, No, it is as of now an unrealistic dream than actual reality.

What To Do With Old Jeans?

In case you have a hard time letting things go, especially your clothing, or you feel like throwing out Jeans, feels like a betrayal because you have grown so attached to them, then you are in luck.

We have curated several ways that you can possibly repurpose your jeans. By the time you’re done reading, we are sure you’d opt for this rather than tossing your Jeans in the trash can.

Here are some fun ideas we feel can help bring your jeans back to life.

1. Cocktail Napkins

You can use your old jeans to make some upbeat cocktail napkins. These kinds of napkins are perfect for a casual get-together. Especially with stamps and stitching to decorate the edges.

2. Headband

Alternatively, you can make out of your old Jeans some twisted headbands. That way, you get to have something cool to cover your hair with on your bad hair days.

3. Rug

Who doesn’t like some fabric laid out to give their place a funky look? You can transform your old Jeans into a rug. It’s going to be pretty tough enough to stand the test of time against humans or animals.

4. Potholders

You can stitch together a couple of your old jeans to make layers of Jeans, and viola you have for yourself a potholder. This way you don’t get to feel the heat of the pot or kettle

5. Baby Bibs

Additionally, if you decide to repurpose your jeans, you can turn them into a bib for babies. After all, those jeans have been through a lot, now it’s definitely sure they can handle chewed food and spit up from babies.

Other ways to repurpose and reuse your jeans include; turning them into an insulator, make a cuddly buddy, coffee cup cover, bookmarker,


Jeans are important, and if we are being factual, Jeans are not going out of vogue anytime soon. They will always be relevant. And as long as they are relevant, recycling of jeans will also be considered an explorable option in the management of the earth.

So, in all, we have told you all you need to know as regards Jeans and its recycling, as well as other purposes they can be used for.

As such, it is up to you now to make an informed decision on how best to handle your Jeans. We certainly admonish that you think through all the available options and pick the one that would do the earth some good.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. Do Jeans wear out?

Yes, jeans do wear out most especially when you don’t give your jeans a little breathing space. when you keep wearing and wearing, the moisture and bacteria from your body will soften the fibers and cause it to break down.

2. When is the right time to throw away your Jeans?

There is no standard or fixed time to throw away your jeans. Once it becomes faded or torn, then that’s your cue to do away with them.

3. Do jeans contain plastic?

Hearing this might instantly sound absurd, however, there have been some advancements in technology as well as Jeans production that point to the fact that some companies now use recycled plastic bottles and food trays and materials for making Jeans.

4. Are Jeans renewable?

If there’s something we can all agree on, it’s the fact that renewable resources are environmentally friendly. As regards your Jeans, they are made from cotton which is a plant. Just like other plants and trees, cotton is a renewable resource that is used for the benefit of people and from time to time can be replaced for another set of persons to benefit from.

Put succinctly, Jeans are renewable.

5. Are Jeans biodegradable?

The simple answer is Yes. Jeans are biodegradable. This is because they are made from cotton which has the capacity to be broken down with or without oxygen. So, if you toss them in a compost heap or landfill, they will biodegrade.

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About Rinkesh

A true environmentalist by heart ❤️. Founded Conserve Energy Future with the sole motto of providing helpful information related to our rapidly depleting environment. Unless you strongly believe in Elon Musk‘s idea of making Mars as another habitable planet, do remember that there really is no 'Planet B' in this whole universe.